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Recently i started a menswear pattern for drafting a set of Jeans, the waist size im using is a 29" waist , however i don’t understand what it means by finding the “waist depth” because i need this measurement in order to finish the pants, my book also does NOT give me instructions on how to or where exactly the fly and shield of the jeans should be placed. Can any one shed some light on me? I would love to also find out where the yolk should be placed, because it does NOT tell me so either.


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  • 2012-04-02_15_00_35_large

    Jun 13, 2012, 04.19 AMby Lindsay Whitehead


    I’m not sure what exactly what they mean by waist depth. I may be able to help if i had some more information about how the measurement is going to be used.

    The fly shield sits behind the zipper (in between the zipper teeth and your…. well you know what needs shielding)

    The yoke sits above the fullest part of your bum, below the waistband ideally.

    There are some good videos on putting in a fly. Look at one of them and it will be a lot clearer. It does depend a little on your pattern though. does it have a fly extension built into it or is there an extra piece you have to make? I suggest if you are drafting a pattern you include this extension.

    I’m making a pair of jeans at the moment. I’m happy to take some photos if you like and I’ll try and answer any questions you have regarding the pattern making. I know they are hard to find online.

    Have fun, reply here if you like and I will give you my contact details.


  • 47a4d9a4dec96d14e0de81c508064122d5d20420_large

    Jun 17, 2012, 10.54 AMby straycat

    Hey Max. The yolk is reinforcement and at the same time a decorative thing. It’s the same with a dress shirt, which has a yolk from the should seams to the upper back. Look at other clothes and you’ll see you can do all sorts of designs with them. On jeans, they just bring the back of the pants up to the waist, so it’s even all around. It’s easy to add to any pants pattern, and you can get really creative with them since they are simple to sew on. I’m not sure what waist depth is, but I’m guessing it might be you waist measurement, which is different from your hips. In pants, there’s a difference between the circumference around your hips (around your bum, basically) and your waist. Waist depth might just be making sure you take this into account. If you don’t, then your waist band will be incredibly wide and your pants will just fall off. This is why belts and suspenders were invented. Now, terminology. Grab any pair of pants you might have. The part the zipper is connected to on the left side is called the fly. It’s basically just a piece of fabric that your sew on (rights sides together) and then turn inward. Makes it stronger, also hides thread which doesn’t matter on jeans. The other part I know as the underlap. Never heard it called shield before, but that makes sense. It’s sewn on behind the other part your zipper is sewn on. You should see it sticking out behind everything. It’s so dangley parts and short ‘n curlies don’t get caught in the zipper. This is probably the most confusing parts when it comes to pants, putting this stuff together. After, you’re just sewing a bunch of big seams and putting the waistband on, which is easy mode.

  • 2012-04-02_15_00_35_large

    Jun 29, 2012, 04.20 AMby Lindsay Whitehead

    Hey Max and Straycat,

    Although a yoke may be decorative in both pants and shirts it has another function. As Straycat pointed out in a shirt it is for strength as this is where the shirt hangs from. But it also has a function in shapeing the garment. Without a yoke you would have to have a dart to account for the shape of your shoulder/back in a shirt and the fullness of your bum in pants just like you have in a women’s blouse front. If you look on a pair of pants without a yoke you can see this, the dart usually goes through the back welt pockets.

    The new seam that is created when you add a yoke needs to incorporate this shaping. sewing this slightly curved seam does the same thing as the dart would do. If you look at pants with an elastic waistband then this is doing the same job as the dart. As a rule one can’t remove a dart from a garment and have it keep the same shape. It can be moved, put in a seam or made into gathers but not removed all together.


  • Dsc08840_large

    Jul 9, 2012, 04.09 PMby Sabrina Wharton-Brown

    I think the “waist depth” probably refers to the distance from your waist to a hard seat when you sit down. My book calls it “body rise”, others may call “crutch depth” or some such thing (side note: Crutch refers to the place on the garment, not the person — that has a different spelling).

    From what I can tell from my drafting instructions, the fly and it’s shield are just added onto the Centre Front. Maybe industrial patterns are a little different, but I haven’t read so anywhere. BTW, make sure your zip is long enough. It should go down to hip level or thereabouts. Otherwise you will have a hard time getting your jeans on.

    You can find a fly zipper tutorial on my blog: http://thesewingcorner.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/how-to-insert-fly-front-zipper.html

  • Nationalanthemmaxtwitter_large

    Jul 29, 2012, 10.10 PMby Max Hernandez

    Well im using Helen Armstrong’s Patternmaking for fashion design (4th Ed) and she tells me to place a belt or elastic at the Center Back Waist, keeping it parallel with the floor, around to the Center Front . (I get that part), and then she says "measure and record the distance to “the waist depth” and to hip bone for the pant draft.

    ^Thats where i get confused, those were measuring instructions, when it comes down to the pant draft , i can see where the yolk goes, and i do get an idea now of the fly and shield part, however, It doesnt tell me where the zipper should be placed right at the crotch area, or should it be placed a few inches (cm) above the crotch area? It has me draw the shield and fly as separate pieces but it doesnt give me any directions of the measurements to draft it (just shows me a picture) . Is there a general rule of how long and wide these two should be? And the placement of the zipper?

    BTW Thank you guys for your answers, i love to interact with those who are just as passionate and creative in the field :)

  • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

    Jul 30, 2012, 06.27 AMby katexxxxxx

    A standard gent’s trouser zip is 9" long, if I recall correctly. Larger gents will require a longer zip. You mount it where the bottom of the zip is comfortable, usually about an inch into the crotch curve. Trouser zips are curved at the bottom to allow this. Then the top goes into the waistband and you trim off anything you don’t need.

    Jeans usually use a straight zip that ends just below the waistband. Measure from the waistband seam allowance to where you want the zip to end, and buy a zip as close to that length as you can.

    On both types, the fly facing and shield tend to be about an inch longer than the bottom of the zip.

    So, in other words, the bottom of the zip and fly are variable. How long you make them depends on style, fit, comfort, and your girth.

  • Nationalanthemmaxtwitter_large

    Jul 30, 2012, 12.52 PMby Max Hernandez

    Alright , so say , if I wanted to draft a men’s size 36 jean , I would put the end of the zipper mark about 1"above the crotch? And what about seam allowances on jeans ? Would a 3/4" allowance work ?

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    • This is a question
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